Simplified Methods for Improving the Blast Resistance of Cold-Formed Steel Walls
In recent years, cold-formed steel stud walls have become an attractive alternative to wood stud walls. Relative to wood, cold-formed steel is highly ductile, sustainable, and unaffected by insects, mold or rot. Research has demonstrated that cold-formed steel stud walls can perform well when subjected to large blast threats, but such performance has depended upon specially designed fasteners that are expensive to manufacture and require experienced workers to install properly. Despite the potential performance of these types of wall systems when specialized fasteners are used, current U.S. Department of Defense design guidelines for conventionally constructed steel stud walls use acceptability criteria that are much more conservative than wood stud walls due to the lack of data available. Thus, the goal of the current research effort is to develop techniques for mitigating large blast threats acting against steel stud walls using conventional construction methods and materials. The research includes controlled laboratory tests that are intended to identify the various failure mechanisms that can occur for different combinations of wall system parameters. Variables considered in the testing program include stud and track section properties, stud-to-track connection details, stud orientation and wall layout, and sheathing system properties. Based on the results obtained from the testing program and supporting analyses, the most promising wall system designs will be identified, and design guidance will be developed. Final designs will be tested under actual blast loads to verify performance and to ensure that wall systems behave as desired.
Ezio Cadoni and Marco di Prisco
B. Bewick et al., "Simplified Methods for Improving the Blast Resistance of Cold-Formed Steel Walls", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vol. 82, pp. 515-520, 2011